Keepin' It Real

What if instead of brushing our emotions aside and apologizing for the brokenness, we invited a few people into it? What if instead of pointing out the mess on the floor, we welcomed them to sit with us among it? Perhaps we would finally see that we were made for greater things than this. We are living in the midst of provision, abundance, skill. Giftedness. We were made by design and on purpose by an unapologetic God. Dare to receive His making of you. And don’t forget to say thank you.
Emily from Chatting At the Sky 

Never fear that I might get full of myself now that I've started to feel a little more on top of things.  God has a way of keeping things in balance. . .or something.

Today was a terrible, horrible, no-good, very bad day.  I will save you the boredom of listening to me recount all of the events which completely maxed out my mothering composure by the end of the day, but I will deliver a little recap.  Just for kicks.  Today included (but was not limited to): one child crying hysterically out in the street; one child repeated over and over (and requiring an affirming response from me) "It sticks!" regarding his new toothbrush with a suction cup on it; one baby crying much more than she napped; three million cups of water spilled; and . . .ok, I forgot, I was just recapping.  It was not good.  There was even a dinner out with various members of my extended family, which sounds like a nice time, and it was, but it was also a time of keeping children in line who had been up very late the night before enjoying independence-related festivities.  So.  At the end of this day, I was pretty much on the verge of tears, as much over the children's behavior all day as over my own lack of patience and not "getting them in line."  And I'm trying to be real and keep up all the realness by sharing my day.  The thing I really want to share though is this habit that has helped maintain the peace I talked about in my last post.  Intentional gratitude; basically, counting my blessings.

I think this is something we know intuitively will help us - focus on the good, not the bad.  See the cup half full not half empty (if it is wine the glass, that glass is definitely half empty).  But gratitude is a habit.  At the very beginning of my current journal, which I started last summer right before Charlotte was born, I have this quote from Ann Voskamp:
Life-changing gratitude does not fasten to a life unless nailed through with one very specific nail at a time.
And I can tell you, in addition to the other habits I mentioned last post, God has truly changed me through the habit of gratitude.  It's just a daily list.  A list of the sweet moments - big or small - that point toward a Creator that loves deeper than I can imagine, who values relationship above all else, who is lavish and extravagant with beauty.  I almost did not add to my list tonight, but the habit is strong enough that I picked up my pen to write down ten precious moments from this no-good day, and by the end, the peace was reigning in my very soul once again.  God is good, friends.  So very good.

618) Coming into a room and finding my baby wobbling across on toddler legs.
619) My sweet sister's company at a very fragile moment
620) My brother taking the kids outside to keep them occupied at the end of the dinner
621) Children delighting over caterpillar "pets"
622) The smell of tomato vines on a summer evening
623) Wyatt, adorable in his new green shirt and dancing brown eyes
624) Ava singing "Rock-a-Bye Baby" over and over to quiet a tired baby
625) Charlotte sleepily rubbing her eyes with her tiny baby fists
626) Ava asking for forgiveness for her attitude
627) Reading one of the Hardy Boys mysteries outside in the grass.
628) Kids asking for me to pray over them before they go to sleep
629) Realizing it was a beautiful day after all


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